Field Tested: 15x Binoculars

Field Tested: 15x Binoculars

Go 15x Bigger or Go Home

In the field, nothing is more important than good glass. Scanning miles of wide-open western terrain can be hard on the eyes, especially without the right-size binoculars. To ensure the antler you’ve spotted isn’t really a branch, top your tripod with 15X prime binoculars and settle in for the long haul. These four options will do the trick.

Leupold BX-5 Santiam 15x56

Leupold BX-5 Santiam 15x56

I found the Santiam crisp and clear right out of the box. BAK 4 Prisms reduce edge distortion, while Abbe-Koenig prisms maximize light transmission for early or late glassing sessions. No worries about dropping them in cold, wet weather thanks to the open bridge design, textured grip, and palm swells that make for a comfortable and secure fit in your hands. MSRP: $1,820 | leupold.com

  • Hits: Textured grip, palm swell
  • Misses: Heavy

Vortex Vulture HD 15x56

Vortex Vulture HD 15x56

It was immediately noticeable how light and compact the Vortex Vulture was compared to the others in our test. The 56mm fully multi-coated objective lenses are made with high-density extra-low dispersion glass, which equals super-bright images. The green rubber exterior is thick and durable in case of drops. Better yet, the glass is anti-scratch. At $600, the Vulture is a very affordable option. MSRP: $600 | vortexoptics.com

  • Hits: Lightweight
  • Misses: Not as crystal clear as the other units

Leica Geovid 15x56R

Leica Geovid 15x56R

On the outside, the Geovid binoculars appear old school, but on the inside the glass and technology are anything but. A Perger-Porro prism system displays high-contrast images and edge-to-edge crispness. The internal rangefinder measures out to 1,200 yards and features EHR ballistic data to calculate your horizontal range for steep shots. For a rangefinder/binocular combo, the Geovid is extremely lightweight. MSRP: $2,200 | us.leica-camera.com


  • Hits: Doubles as a rangefinder
  • Misses: Expensive

Zeiss Conquest HD 15x56

Zeiss Conquest HD 15x56

Zeiss has brought HD to the binocular world. The Carl Zeiss T* multi-layer coating gives users 90 percent light transmission. The 56mm lenses offer a wide field of view and maximum brightness matched with crystal-clear images. A special lens coating ensures that water rolls easily off the glass in case of unexpected rain, while dirt can be wiped clean without the worry of scratching your investment. MSRP: $1,800 | zeiss.com


  • Hits: Crystal clear
  • Misses: Slippery grip

Recommended for You

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians. News

The Ticks Making Hunters Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians.

These four hunts will test your endurance. North America Big Game

North America's Toughest Black Bear Hunts

Brad Fitzpatrick

These four hunts will test your endurance.

Companies in the outdoor industry know how to get our attention. We know, it might seem cheap, but SHOT Show

Booth Babes from the 2012 SHOT Show

PH Online Editors - January 18, 2012

Companies in the outdoor industry know how to get our attention. We know, it might seem cheap,...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Cheeseburger Poppers

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 16: Cedar Break Bucks

Kevin Steele treks to the cedar breaks and coulees of north-central Nebraska for a shot at a big prairie whitetail.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns. Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study. Ammo

Is The 6.5 The Perfect Hunting Caliber?

Mike Schoby

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study.

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are created equal. Recipes

How to Properly Grill Venison Steak

Hank Shaw

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are...

See More Stories

More Optics

You may not immediately recognize the FLIR name, but you're familiar with the company's work. FLIR Optics

FLIR ThermoSight Pro PTS Series: Thermal Optics for Hog & Predator Hunting

Brad Fitzpatrick - May 23, 2018

You may not immediately recognize the FLIR name, but you're familiar with the company's work....

Nothing is more important in the field than good glass. Optics

Field Tested: 15x Binoculars

Kali Parmley - August 05, 2019

Nothing is more important in the field than good glass.

I'm not sure how it is where you hunt, but here in the South, mature bucks are highly-nocturnal. Optics

5 Things To Look For In A Great Hunting Binocular

Keith Wood - September 18, 2017

I'm not sure how it is where you hunt, but here in the South, mature bucks are...

See More Optics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.